Murray Sunset National Park, Victoria, VKFF-0373, 18th September 2018

It is just over five years ago, on the 26th July 2013, that I first activated the Murray Sunset National Park. This Park is located in the North Western corner of the state and adjoins the South Australian border. On that occasion I made 16 contacts. That park activation counted for the WWFF program and the Keith Roget Memorial National Park Award.

My wife, Jenny, and I had visited what is now the Park, when it was simply called Sunset Country and we crossed from South to North in our Toyota 4 x 4, camping in the reserve. It was a great adventure, just one vehicle and something we would now probably not do today without a second vehicle. This was remote country in the early 1970s! However, we were well equipped with plenty of food and water.

For the July 2013 activation we travelled along the highway for a few kilometres before taking a secondary track into the park. A photo of my station on that occasion has previously been published and appears on my QRZ.com page. My description of the activation was brief and there is only one photo.

This time we crossed into Victoria from South Australia about 200 metres and on the Northern side took a track into the park for about two kilometres where we found a clearing and I set up there. This was my first solo park activation since Lake Tyers State Park in Victoria in April 2017. I have had a few health issues, but thankfully,  I seem to have all but one under control and, more importantly have the energy and drive to be more active.

MJD Murray Sunset 18092018

This photo my station set up at Murray Sunset National Park. I used my Yaesu 857 D set for ten watts and a linked dipole supported in the middle by a squid pole. I used a 33 amp hour gel cell for station power and later an 8.400 amp hour LiFePo4 battery. JCD photo.

MJD2 Murray sunset NP

Here is another closer shot of the station set up.  I placed the green box (portable gear) near the squid pole as it was quite windy. JCD photo.

So on Monday we decided we would have two nights away from home and visit SA Riverland. We hired a cabin over looking the Murray River in the Big 4 park at Renmark, the same place we stayed in 2013.

Cabin at Renmark 2

 

Our cabin

White faced Heron

White faced heron

Houseboat at Renmark

Houseboat motoring by

So we chose to go back to the Murray Sunset National Park and aim for 44 contacts. I already had 12 in the bank from the 2013 trip. I would also try for some CW contacts using my VK5PF call-sign.

Contacts

3.610

00:16 VK5PL

7.144

01:25 VK3PF

VK2IO

VK3SQ

VK2NP

VK2YK

VK4TJ s 58 r 41

VK3UH

01:37 VK2JNG/P  Park to Park VKFF-0504

VK3KTT

01:41 VK1MIC/3 Wade, Park to Park VKFF-0761

VK2HHA

VK2XXM

VK3ALA/P Ken Motor home

01:49 VK3KMH,  Mike

7.144

02:19 VK7ME, Mark

VK2BL

VK2LEE

VK3WC

VK3TKK/M

VK3HP

VK1MIC/3

VK2XSE

VK3SL

VK3YUN

VK4/AC8WN

VK4/VE6XT

VK3FAIN, Ian, Dromana

VK2CPE

VK2ESG

VK2UXO

CW contacts as VK5PF

7.032

01:58 VK2IO, Gerard s 599 r 579

02:00 VK7CW, Steve, s 599 r 599

02:02 VK4TJ, s 559 r339

Thanks to all of the operators who gave me a call.

On the way home we visited three parks to check out good activation spots.

The first was Bakara, the second, Swan Reach and the third Marne Valley Conservation Park.

Swan Reach CPMarne Valley CP

 

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VI5MARCONI at Scott Creek Conservation Park, VKFF-0788 & , 5CP-207, 16th September 2018

VI5Marconi 20m

Special QSL card for VI5MARCONI 20 metres

VI5MARCONI is a special event station established to celebrate the direct radio telegraphy transmission between the United Kingdom and Australia. The actual day of the transmission was the 22nd September 1918. See the QRZ.com page for the special calls and more historical details.  One hundred years ago seems like a long time back in the past but really it is not. It depends upon you age, how you regard the past and how remote it seems. If you are in your 20s it would seem along time ago, but as you age and develop a broader perspective over a longer period of time it seems not that long ago. I was a boy in the 1950’s and I knew people who remembered and lived within the reign of Queen Victoria. My maternal Grand-mother was one such person as was my singing teacher and Church Choir-Mistress.

I have always been interested in the history of wireless and was pleased when, last evening, Paul, VK5PAS, contacted me and suggested we activate Scott Creek Conservation Park using the VI5MARCONI special event call-sign. We confirmed our arrangements and met at Gate 8 at about 09:45 local time. The Bureau of Meteorology suggested a cool day, temperature of about 13 degrees Celsius and moderate winds. As it turned out we had long sunny breaks and sitting in the sun we got quite warm.

 

John & Paul Scott Creek 2 918

This photo shows our station. The radio in front of my keying hand is my Ten Tec Model 539. JCD photo.

Knowing that the messages sent in 1918 were achieved using wireless telegraphy it was appropriate to try some CW from the Park. That was my task. I called CQ for quite a few times on 80 metres but did not get an answer. I was more successful on 40 metres. I used Paul’s Yaesu 857D and my Camelback hand key (K4VIZ). The Ten Tec Model 539 was a standby radio set up for CW.  See my post of 10th August for more details on my morse keys and photos.

John and Paul Scott Creek 918

VI5MARCONI at Scott Creek Conservation Park, JCD photo

In 2004, a book review by me, was published in Amateur Radio Magazine, of Weightman’s biography of Marconi (1).  Here is a reference to that book review. I thought I would re-read the book as part of the celebration this month of the first wireless telegraphy message from the UK to Australia. A quick skim read did not produce any references to the contacts between the UK and Australia. This is not surprising given Marconi’s efforts were largely centred on the UK and North America.

The Park

I have been to Scott Creek Conservation Park many times for both walking and radio. Here is a link to my last post about Scott Creek CP. As well Paul and I have also activated the Park on many occasions. It is a splendid park and will repay many visits.

https://wordpress.com/post/vk5bje.com/7361

Contacts

We made 91 contacts from the Park. I left at about 12:45 local time to go home and have lunch and a rest before band practice later in the afternoon. Thanks to all of those operators who gave us a call.

The following stations were contacted:

7.144 Mhz

VK5FMAZ

VK3MAB

VK3UH

VK3JRP

VK3SQ

VK2IO

VK4AAC/3

VK3QB

VK4CZ

VK4GSF

VK2UXO

VK2PKT

3.610

VK5FMAZ

VK5FANA

VK5HS/M

VK5TW

VK5KC

7.032 CW

VK1CT

VK3QB

7.144 ssb

VK3FMKE

VK3ANL

VK3PF/M

VK5MR

VK2KYO

VK7AN

VK2LEE

VK3FDRG

VK7GN

VK3MB

VK7QP

7.032 CW

VK7CW

VK3PF/P

7.130 ssb

VK3AWG

VK3SIM

VK4AAC/3

VK3PF/P          VK3/VG-015

VK6XC

VK3ALN

VK3YB

VK3LTL

VK3CNW

VK3NXT

VK5MJ

ZL3GLV

VI4MARCONI

VK2EAT/P

VK6YTS/P

VK4RZ

VK2GJC

VK4KUS

ZL1ANZ

VK4ALE/P         VKFF-1493

VK3GRH

VK3UP

VK3CHC

VK3HJA/P

VK2MNR

VK2XXM

VK2VW

VK2IO

VK2YK

VK3HRV

VK3HD

VK3BNJ

VK3ZD

VK3FRIG

VK3PTL

VK3FMKE

VK3PF/P         VK3/VT-020

VK3FSPG

VK3MPR

VK3CWF

VK2HMV

14.183 ssb

VK4XCS

ZL4QT

VK6NIE

VK7XX

ZL1ANF

14.310 ssb

VK6XC

IK4LZH

IZ8GNR

IZ5JMZ

JH7RTZ

VK4HNS

VK5BJE

UA0ZC

VK4SJ

DM8MZ

VK7QP

VK4VXX/6         VKFF-1236

Paul has been generous with this activation giving me equal status. He made 63 contacts as against my 28.

VI5MARCONI 80m

Special QSL card for VI5MARCONI 80 Metres

vk2marconi vk5pf version for wp

Special QSL card for wireless telegraphy (CW) contact with VI2MARCONI on the 40 metre band. The three QSL cards displayed in this post confirm private (not VI5MARCONI) contacts made be me.

References

Dawes, John, 2004, Book Review, Weightman, G., 2003, ‘Signor Marconi’s Magic Box: How an amateur inventor defied scientists and began the radio revolution’, Harper Collins, London, (in) Amateur Radio Magazine, 72, 3, March 2004, pp 24 & 41.